Rolling Updates on 'Project Restart': Week 7

Thursday, 7 May, 2020 138comments  |  Jump to last
With the Premier League working on plans to resume the season next month, the media are reporting numerous stories, rumours, proposals and suggestions about how things may move forward.

Here are links to the most recent stories in Week 7 of the Covid-19 lockdown:

Premier League Project Restart meeting on hold as they eye government advice

The Premier League will postpone a meeting they had planned for this week until after Boris Johnson outlines the ways in which he intends to "unlock the various parts of the UK economy” in a speech that has been moved from this Thursday to next Sunday.

Six clubs have expressed doubts about details of Project Restart at a meeting last Friday, with Brighton chief executive Paul Barber already publicly coming out against neutral venues because he feels it would disadvantage his team. At least 14 of the top 20 clubs need to approve the plan.
The Mirror — 4 May

Martin Keown slams "farcical" idea of scrapping Premier League relegation

The former Everton and Arsenal defender insists the idea to scrap relegation "would be farcical and stinks of greed" as the current bottom six hold out over playing the remainder of the campaign in neutral venues.
The Mirror — 5 May

Premier League return ideas include matches less than 90 minutes

PFA chief, Gordon Taylor, has said that some of the ideas being explored as part of Project Restart would see "games being less than 45 minutes per half" and more substitutes being allowed, although it was later reported that such a move is not under consideration and that club chiefs were stunned by Taylor's claims. Additionally, the Telegraph insists no such talks have even taken place.
The Mirror — 5 May

Premier League clubs seek definitive answer on player contract extensions

Chairmen are also looking for guidelines on players loaned to EFL clubs, who often pay for a portion of the salary.
The Telegraph — 5 May

Premier League club doctors express serious concern over football restart

A group of club doctors has written to the Premier League expressing concern over potential risks to restarting the competition during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Guardian — 6 May

Premier League set to return with new television plan to screen more live games

Almost all of the remaining 200 matches in the Premier League and Championship could reportedly be screened live to fans in the UK as football seeks to emerge from the coronavirus crisis.
The Mirror — 7 May

Proposals for Project Restart leave clubs fearing injury deluge

Premier League stars may only be able to train fully for “two or three days” before being expected to play again and there are fears that it will lead to a raft of injuries and cause a potential roadblock for Project Restart with games set to return from June 12.
The Mirror — 7 May

Football fans could attend matches in October under Johnson's plan to lift lockdown

Football fans could be back in stadiums by October under Boris Johnson's six-month plan to get the United Kingdom out of lockdown.
The Mirror — 7 May

Positive tests will not lead to fresh lockdown of Premier League squads

Clubs will only be required to quarantine individual players who test positive for COVID-19 not their entire squads under guidelines being discussed for the re-opening of training facilities and the potential resumption of top-flight matches next month.
The Telegraph — 7 May

Players to be given the chance to air concerns over restart plans

Premier League players will hold talks with league executives next week before any concrete plans are put in place to resume top-flight football in England amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

There is uncertainty over what the consensus might be among the players about restarting matches while the coronavirus continues to be a significant problem in the country.
The Guardian — 7 May

Premier League won't be permitted to abandon relegation this season

The Football Association will block any attempt by the Premier League to forego relegation this season. Some threatened clubs are pushing back at the prospect of playing behind closed doors if the season resumes, fearing that the loss of home advantage could put them at a disadvantage.

Any move to scrap relegation would require the FA's authorisation but the game's domestic governing body is said to be in favour of settling the season — relegation included — based on “sporting merit”.

The Times — 7 May

Premier League warned Project Restart won't pass a vote and clubs ready to revolt

Brighton chief executive Paul Barber has warned the Premier League is facing a full-scale revolt over the Project Restart plans. Barber is adamant that it is far more than the bottom six clubs who are against proposals to use neutral stadiums and any potential vote will result in an “impasse”.

The Premier League have still not actually rubber-stamped final proposals on neutral venues have only been discussed and none have been approved. They are waiting on the Government before pushing further ahead and then asking clubs to vote.
The Mirror — 8 May

Clubs to vote on substitutes and VAR

Premier League clubs will debate whether to dump VAR for the remainder of the season — if it can be completed — after the International Football Association Board (Ifab) said that individual competitions could do so if they wanted.

The clubs, who will hold a conference call on Monday, must also vote on another Ifab temporary amendment — whether to agree to the use of five substitutes in matches.If clubs agree to extra substitutions, each side will have three opportunities, excluding half-time, to make changes.

The Guardian — 8 May

Watford oppose Premier League neutral venue proposals

Watford chairman and chief executive, Scott Duxbury, has spoken out strongly against neutral venues.

"I, of course, absolutely accept we cannot have supporters in the stadium," Duxbury wrote in The Times. "That goes without saying in the present situation.

"However, we are now told we cannot play our remaining home games at Vicarage Road and the familiarity and advantage that brings. This against a backdrop of players who, having seen their lives turned upside down along with the rest of the world, are suddenly expected to perform as if nothing has happened, despite the rest of society probably still facing the kind of restrictions unenforceable on a football pitch.

"We have club medical staff working under conditions that no doctor or physio has ever experienced with guidelines that, in no small part, are based at this stage on supposition rather than scientific fact. And with all these compromises and health risks we are asked to finish a competition that bears no resemblance to the one we started, which could end a small club like Watford's time in the Premier League.

"So is this fair? Does it have any semblance of sporting integrity? Of course not."

BBC Sport — 9 May


Reader Comments (138)

Note: the following content is not moderated or vetted by the site owners at the time of submission. Comments are the responsibility of the poster. Disclaimer

John Keating
1 Posted 04/05/2020 at 14:59:52
I must admit I am disgusted with the nonsense coming from the authorities regarding re-introducing sport. Not just the authorities but I think our own Club and players have left a lot to be desired, more than a lot.

As many have mentioned, there are certain sports which possibly can be brought back without fans and continuing social distancing. Football is not one of them.

I sent an email to the Prime Minister – via the government website – to express my disgust at talks between the government and authorities regarding the reintroduction of sporting events. Doubt it will do any good but, if I get anything back, I will post it up.

Justin Doone
2 Posted 05/05/2020 at 10:18:12
You can't put a price on life.

FIFA, UEFA, Premier league & English FA are all run by people with personal agendas which is generally money and power.

Just like the British government when it comes to making quick, sensible decisions everyone wants to fix it in the their favour and pass the book when it comes to blame.

I don't like them, I don't trust them.

Until we are seeing less than 100 new infections a day and less than a couple of deaths we are not 'over the worst of it'.

The northwest of England is reporting more and more cases, London are starting to report less. So as far as the government and money men are concerned it's getting better.. #%&@ing £#*@/$!

I'm all in favour of continuing the current season but legally binding contracts will end in June. What happens with out of contract players, sponsorships, transfer window's etc?

I understand winning trophies, promotion and relegation are all part of the issue too and so the most sensible decision is to set a deadline when a decision will be made by.

There's no rush, finish this season before the Euros next summer and skip 2020-21 season. That could give us another 6 months to assess the situation.

If things clear up quickly finish and give players only a months summer break before the new season if there's a long enough time period.

In the meantime the legal contractual situation should be agreed. Can a free agent in July sign and play for another club should this season restart after June?

How are the TV and other media sponsors going to get 'value'?

Will behind closed door games be screened and be available to fans and / or the general public?

Lots to agree on before rushing into games. If I was a player, I wouldn't want to jeapordise anyone's health, players, staff or their families etc.

It's a contact sport, players cough and spit all the time on the pitch. I'd be against playing until its over, not when government or officials decide it 'should' be okay.

Jimmy Salt
3 Posted 05/05/2020 at 10:47:02
I see the German league ran into problems with their plan to re-start the league. Players and staff testing positive.
Brian Harrison
4 Posted 05/05/2020 at 11:04:06
Jimmy 3,

Correct; the first 2 divisions in the German league were tested and 10 players came back as being positive. We know that 3 of those were from FC Cologne; they don't say were the other 7 are from.

Here, many clubs are still not back at the training ground so presumably that's when they will be tested. Nobody has said what happens if we get positive tests back.

Clubs still haven't canvassed players to see if they are happy to play. So how they make a decision on Friday or next Monday, with all these imponderables... I don't know.

Patrick McFarlane
5 Posted 05/05/2020 at 11:16:17
In times of crisis, decisive leadership becomes all important, and unfortunately there has been little evidence of football as a sport having any governing body or person to show the level of leadership that is required.

FIFA, UEFA, national FA's, Players unions all have different ideas but nobody has a simple solution. Add to that the power of individual clubs to railroad others to conform to their will and you have a recipe for confusion and stasis.

The season must end by playing out the fixtures, many will argue, and I would think many supporters would agree, that would provide the best solution in the midst of this crisis, even if those fixtures had to be played behind closed doors.

The will to complete the season is huge but the methods by which it is completed has become farcical, with various media outlets using leaked information from various sources adding to the confusion.

The Premier League in particular should decide upon a date by which the current season should be sacrificed as that might focus the various parties to come up with a workable strategy.

Andrew Ellams
6 Posted 05/05/2020 at 11:51:27
Patrick @ 5, didn't Uefa or Fifa set a latest date that leagues could submit an implementation plan at least? 15th June seems to ring a bell.
Jim Bennings
7 Posted 05/05/2020 at 11:53:47
Contact the captain of each and every club in all divisions and get them to finish the bloody matches on FIFA 20.

Let's be honest about it, everything else is done virtual now anyway so might as well just nail this.

Tony Shelby
8 Posted 05/05/2020 at 12:21:02
I know it was mentioned on TW yesterday but I still can't get my head around the irony that the Liverpool women's team want their season to be cancelled without a champion and with no relegation (they would be relegated if there was) citing “risk to health” yet the men's team want the opposite.

If you ever wanted a summary of the Kopite mindset that's pretty much it!

Mike Hughes
9 Posted 05/05/2020 at 12:26:36
Tony #8,

And you can add that men are at higher risk than women for Covid-19.

Null and void the season now because it's a meaningless farce now.

Ken Kneale
10 Posted 05/05/2020 at 12:59:20
Liverpool's juxtaposition sums up the whole club. Surely voiding the season is the only sensible and safe way - it prevents any of the self interest merchants. In just about any other contractual situation, Force majeure clauses alter obligations where extraordinary events or circumstance prevents from fulfilling those obligations. How on earth is football different to any other sport or business. It is hypocrisy to continue this season when all efforts should be on saving lives, supporting communities and then prepararing for a new beginnning whenever that may be.
Tony Shelby
11 Posted 05/05/2020 at 13:03:37
Mike #9 - I'm 100% with you!

I think I'm being objective in that decision although it is hard to tell because I dislike them so much!!!

Brian Williams
12 Posted 05/05/2020 at 13:51:16
Heard part of an interview of Professor Somebody or Other from Liverpool who mentioned the restart of the Premier League and an option mentioned was the players "wearing masks" to play the games.

Paul Jones
13 Posted 05/05/2020 at 13:56:01
There have already been far too many unnecessary deaths in this country due to the greed and incompetence of the leadership. Suspend or postpone the Premier League until it is possible to continue again in what the majority of people would consider reasonable circumstances.
Jack Convery
14 Posted 05/05/2020 at 13:56:51
Void It - Simples.
Rob Halligan
15 Posted 05/05/2020 at 14:09:48
Gordon Taylor, the PFA chief, thinks games might be shorter than 45 minutes each way. FFS, what difference will that make? Make the virus less likely to be spread, No. Make the season finish quicker, No.

Just finish the season now. It will be a pointless exercise for everyone except the RS, who are determined to finish the season, and of course, the twenty chairmen of every club who are determined to get their greedy hands into the pot of gold handed out by sky etc, because as we all know, that's the real reason why they want the season to continue. Certain players have already said they are scared to play on. What are clubs going to do, sack them if they don't play?

Martin Nicholls
16 Posted 05/05/2020 at 14:35:44
Rob #15,

Gordon Taylor has got to be one of the biggest idiots pushing this ridiculous restart plan. Games of less than 90 minutes – next he'll be proposing 5-a-side games to halve the number of players at risk!

Well, Gordon, I've got a better idea that places no players or anyone else associated with these crackpot plans at risk – don't play the games!

Tony Abrahams
17 Posted 05/05/2020 at 15:00:41
To be fair, Martin, but if they are going to televise the games without a crowd, then I think 5-a-side might just be the better game to watch on the telly.
Craig Harrison
18 Posted 05/05/2020 at 15:01:18
Let's suppose the Premier League returns and the first game is Everton vs Liverpool. The game is played, and afterwards a player from Everton or Liverpool tests positive for Covid-19. Will that mean that all the players from both teams would now be subject to a 14-day quarantine and be unable to play any further games?
John Keating
19 Posted 05/05/2020 at 15:55:05

The Premier League have set an 8th June start date. Rick Parry reckons everything should be done and dusted by end of July.

Make of all that what you will!

Paul Burns
20 Posted 05/05/2020 at 17:18:45
The whole league and every other sport has to be abandoned for the whole year at least. One life is more important than any sport.

Uefa and Fifa should be told to belt up and go away.

John Chambers
21 Posted 05/05/2020 at 17:48:47
So we started a competition whereby 20 teams were scheduled to play one another twice, once at home and once away. Each game to be of 2 halves of 45 minutes with each team starting with 11 players with 3 substitutions allowed. At the end of the season, one team would be champions and 3 relegated.

We are now talking of changing the rules so that games will be at neutral venues, with 2 halves of possibly less than 45 minutes and 5 substitutions allowed, with no relegation. That sounds like a completely different competition to me.

The original 19-20 season should be cancelled.

Kim Vivian
22 Posted 05/05/2020 at 18:14:37
I simply do not fathom how they can even contemplate restarting the season until it is totally safe to do so.

If all the league games are played out in whatever format, and they would have to be to determine all the promotion & relegation places, that would involve conservatively around 200,000 people directly involved at different clubs. If any fatality(ies) could be proven as a direct result of this happening, the litigation could be massive - or would every participant - players, officials, coaches, groundsmen, kit men, cleaners, medi-staff, the list goes on and on - have to sign some sort of disclaimer saying they are aware of the risk etc etc.

Pointless discussing it. Peoples' safety must come first.

Finish it now, to use a populist three word tag.

Mark Burton
23 Posted 05/05/2020 at 18:36:48
Season should be abandoned and RS should not be credited with the league. Start again next season.

That's a difficult one because imagine being a Leeds supporter and knowing that this is a chance to get into the Premier League and knowing that next season won't present the opportunity again. There are a lot of ifs and buts but health and safety of players, staff and supporters must take priority.

Please don't play games just give the title to the RS which would really delight the Sky shiteheads.

Paul Birmingham
24 Posted 05/05/2020 at 19:24:27
Agree with all, pointless and meaningless to carry football and other sports with this corona virus showing no signs of waning any time soon in the UK.

Its crazy that the likes of Gordon Taylor is talking such nonsense. Mitigating high risk for further high risks. What's his inspiration for this nonsense?

The EPL, PFA, and the government need to get some back bone and tell the world that all football competitions in the UK are now all declared null and void.

John McFarlane Snr
25 Posted 05/05/2020 at 19:29:40
Hi all, I'm rapidly falling out of love with football, and the intention of finishing the season regardless of the method employed, stinks of greed to me.

Over 30,000 people have died as a result of this horrible virus and it appears that many more will be added to the list, yet we have the Premier League authorities [and some clubs] prepared to put the welfare of players and officials at risk, using the "integrity of the game" as some sort of justification.

'Integrity' as I understand it, is the ''quality of being honest and upright in character'', I believe that the word 'duplicity' – ''a deceitfulness or hypocrisy'' is a better description of the Premier League's attitude and that of some of the clubs.

Brian Harrison
28 Posted 05/05/2020 at 19:32:11
The truth is most if not all of the clubs want the money off Sky to stop them running out of money by August or September. Even some of the clubs against finishing the season apparently suggested they may take part if there was no relegation. The Brighton chairman has said he will not agree to play any games at neutral stadiums. At the next meeting of the Premier League either this Friday or next Monday there are suggestions that they may hold a vote, and for any decision to be ratified has to have 14 of the 20 clubs agreeing.

I think that those wishing to play the games which includes Everton, will wait to see what decision the German government make in the next 2 days as to whether they allow the German league to restart. Despite 10 players from their top 2 divisions testing positive for the virus. Should as seems likely the German government agree to the restart I am sure those clubs wishing to finish the games will use that to put pressure on the ones who don't want to restart.

I would think the only thing that would then stop our league from following suit would be if there was a huge backlash from the players to restarting the league. I see when Rabb was questioned at the briefing tonight about the Premier League restarting, he said that he thought if it could be started safely then it would give everyone a lift. What does 'start safely' mean? And can you really ask the rest of the public to keep social distancing when the government support restarting football with all the ramifications that implies?

Rob Halligan
29 Posted 05/05/2020 at 19:47:51
A lot of people going on about how unfair it would be on Leeds if there was to be no promotion from the Championship. Leeds are only seven points clear of 3rd-placed Fulham, albeit with a superior goal difference.

With still 9 games left in the Championship, what's to say Leeds wouldn't blow it? After all, they have done so in the last few seasons, in either the Championship or League One.

The Championship is far tighter than the Premier League, so by making the season null and void, there would only be one team missing out, and let's be honest, who gives a fuck about them!!

Danny Baily
30 Posted 05/05/2020 at 20:30:20
Too much time has passed and too little time left for the completion of this season to be anything other than a farce.

It's over. Records don't have to be expunged but promotion/relegation cannot happen from this point.

What footballing authorities should be focussing on is ensuring that all Premier League and EFL clubs survive the down time.

Brian Wilkinson
31 Posted 05/05/2020 at 21:34:12
If they can get the first two games played and the shite cannot be caught, then expect the season to end.

They will do all they can to try and get the Premier League winner sorted, regardless of putting players at risk.

But null and void will not happen, too much greed and selfishness about.

Until they have their title, do not expect them to null and void the season.

Jim Wilson
32 Posted 05/05/2020 at 22:40:38
As the city of Liverpool becomes the hot spot for Covid-19, we have this nonsense going on.

They might not like it but the corrupt FA have to cancel this season now and stop fucking around with desperate ideas to make money.

Paul Birmingham
33 Posted 05/05/2020 at 22:53:33
Well said, by all and why should an exception be made for the Premier League, when society is in lockdown and socially distancing?

As Jim states tell them to play FIFA20, to sort it out.

The world is gonna face unprecedented economics, for years to cone, and society - and a healthy workforce, are vital to survive this, and rebuild life.

The government must show some bottle and sort this out ASAP, and the UK, stick together and fight this battle on a unified front.

The neutral empty ground scenario, is crazy and shows the EFL put profit before Health & Safety.

Next season will be a right off, so it looks long, long term, in view of social distancing rules.

All stay safe and well.

Mike Hughes
34 Posted 05/05/2020 at 23:35:43
Just take a quick glance at the BBC News page to see how much Covid-19 still dominates despite the weeks of lockdown we've had. Then listen to the football leaders opening their gobs.

Gordon Taylor could put a glass eye to sleep. He sounds as inspiring and convincing as cold porridge, oozing greed and self-interest. Integrity, my arse.

No matter what happens (and we all know what should), retrieving this season will be like fishing something out of an un-flushed toilet.

The memory of it will always stink.

Null and void.

Nigel Munford
35 Posted 06/05/2020 at 00:04:09
So team A has 8 squad members positive with Covid-19; team B has none. Level playing field? I think not. The season needs canning now before any more stupid ideas like less than 45-minute halves come out!!!
Karl Masters
36 Posted 06/05/2020 at 01:02:02
I can't believe this farce is still going on.

Exert Force Majeure on all players' contracts. 50% reduction releases 100's of millions £ over even just a few months. Use that to offset the expected loss of income from Sky etc and pay your Staff 80-90% till we can safely re-start with crowds, which isn't going to be before September, maybe not till January and maybe not for another 12 months.

All players can afford it. They'll be doing sod all and still getting rewarded handsomely.

It's that simple. No football till crowds can safely attend and the players can pay for it.

I'm sick of these greedy bastards. Football is dragging itself through the gutter. Season is over. Incomplete. Null and Void

Si Cooper
37 Posted 06/05/2020 at 02:09:34
It should only be done if it can be done safely. That is not impossible. If the players, support staff and officials were properly quarantined and monitored, then there is no risk of them transmitting it to each other. It's like the crew of that submarine that has remained isolated for months and so are able to go back to sea with no risk. That is up to the footballers to agree to the strict quarantine conditions.

Some of us have not stopped going to work at any point and I wouldn't bar anyone from resuming their work if it can be done safely.

The moral questions are another matter entirely, as is the likelihood that some fans will use it as an excuse to break the social distancing rules everyone who is not fortunate enough to be able to live in a luxury bubble must follow until the virus is no longer a threat. That said, it is obvious on a daily basis that members of the public are progressively dropping their adherence to the rules of the ‘new normal'. Those essential journeys increasingly look like multiple shopping trips and dubious reasons to get exercise.

Problem is thus far we have no proof of acquired immunity and so how long are all the ‘outraged' on this thread prepared to endure lockdown? Without acquired immunity and an effective vaccine for those who haven't had it yet, any relaxation of lockdown must come with a likelihood of a fresh wave of infections and death. Conceivably the football could be done with little or no risk; the public's actions are going to have much more far-reaching consequences for the foreseeable future.

Eric Myles
38 Posted 06/05/2020 at 03:42:26
Ken #10, Force Majeure clauses don't alter obligations, they suspend the performance of the obligations temporarily.

Brian #12, I have difficulty breathing wearing a mask while sitting still, running around in one would be impossible.

Craig #18, yes.

Carl #36, Force Majeure is not a Common Law concept, it's a contractual one so if there is no FM clause in the player's contracts (and I've never come across one in an employment contract) then footballers cannot be forced to take a pay cut. See also my reply above to Ken.

Si #37, acquired immunity cannot be acquired in lockdown so yes, more people are likely to get sick and die after lockdown is released.

John Boon
39 Posted 06/05/2020 at 05:50:55
John (25)... I don't need to say more other than I completely agree. The only thing I would add from my point of view is that the season has ended no matter what the "Brains Trust" decide. I will have no interest in season 2019-20. It is gone.

I will only watch a new season whenever it may start. It is pointless to even think of finishing last season. Too many people have died and Football is totally irrelevant considering everything.

Alan J Thompson
40 Posted 06/05/2020 at 06:27:41
Eric (#38); When I first mentioned force majeure I did say, along the lines of, meaning that may be clubs could come to an agreement with players to suspend contracts until football, and life, returns to some sort of normality and in the meantime pay them, say, 20% of their contracted pay as some sort of retainer.

When normality is resumed, which could be defined as the resumption of their home league, then contracts would run for the length of time that was on them at the time of suspension.

Would players and agents agree, I don't know but it is perhaps somewhere from which to start negotiations particularly if clubs could demonstrate that it might be there only path to financial survival.

Ian Linn
41 Posted 06/05/2020 at 06:49:55
"Project restart" my arse, more like "Operation clusterfuck".

End the season now and start the new one when it's safe to do so.

Ian Riley
42 Posted 06/05/2020 at 08:41:54
Thousands and thousands have been taken before their time, young or old, black or white, male or female. The pain will go on as many are still fighting for life.

This virus is not going away. It will have to be controlled and contained. In years to come we will look back and be thankful we survived and have been given a second chance. Football is not important now.

The pain is raw and I do believe the safety of all is paramount.

Alan McGuffog
43 Posted 06/05/2020 at 09:05:32
Wherever and whenever football is played again, to accommodate the wishes of the Premier League, behind closed doors, on an aircraft carrier or on St Kilda, that will be it. The voluntary lockdown will cease and people will be back on the street en masse.

Nothing must stand in the way of the football juggernaut. Bread and circuses indeed.

Michael Lynch
44 Posted 06/05/2020 at 09:20:29
Germany seems to be getting closer to restarting their footie behind closed doors. I was just looking at the stats and, in terms of new infections per day, I reckon we're about a month behind the Germans. Now that we're doing as much, if not more, daily testing than they are, the figures should be pretty comparable, but it's still a rough guess.

Anyway, if they restart this month, it's possible that the Premier League could get back underway some time in June, probably late June rather than early June. Of course, if the German restart goes tits up, that gives us a month to rethink. And the UK would need to start relaxing some lockdown measures by the end of May, which wouldn't surprise me.

Si Cooper
45 Posted 06/05/2020 at 09:55:37
Eric (38], the lockdown is not absolute and doesn't really come anywhere near a proper quarantine, so people are still being infected and recovering although the rate of spread has been slowed from what would have very quickly overwhelmed the NHS completely. I meant acquired immunity as a term for what you may get by actually having and surviving a viral infection rather than that produced by a vaccination.

The point I was trying to make is that I think people have already started to think that we are really on top of this virus when the reality could easily be we are just at the start of a very drawn-out war against it, and I think many people are already baulking at the idea of being kept from their normal routines for anything longer than a week or two more.

People are, I'm afraid already tired of the constraints that a disciplined self-isolation imposes on them. People want to start to do normal things again and that includes professional footballers playing football.

Eric Myles
46 Posted 06/05/2020 at 11:03:35
Alan & #40, a very sensible solution. Don't expect it to be even considered!
Jerome Shields
47 Posted 06/05/2020 at 11:08:26
The sole motive in the 'Restart' this season is to continue as they left off, with their cosy sponsorship deals and high wages. In other words, to keep the gravy train running and the clubs that most benefit happy. Therein lies the problem: circumstances have totally moved on.

The Premier League needs to concentrate on next season and how to prepare the clubs for it. That's where the challenge is and there appears to be no leadership to face it, bar the bigger clubs' pressure group – who care little about football or anything else but their own finances.

Ken Kneale
48 Posted 06/05/2020 at 11:38:34
Who do we write to at Everton FC if we wish to express our opinon as an individual to whomever represents the Club at Premier League forums on this matter, that we are against resumption?
Jim Wilson
49 Posted 06/05/2020 at 13:09:25
Everton should not let themselves get bullied by the FA.

If they are told to play the game against Liverpool they should stand firm and say NO.

It is the correct and safe approach.

If Liverpool want their 2 wins let them play other teams. Do not allow them to use Everton as canon fodder.

Enough is enough.

Tony Abrahams
50 Posted 06/05/2020 at 15:31:18
Michael @44, Angela Merkel, has said they can resume playing the Bundesliga from next Friday — the 15th May.
Michael Lynch
51 Posted 06/05/2020 at 16:42:38
Tony @50 yes I just saw that. The word from the Premier League is that there will be no resumption unless everyone agrees to neutral grounds.

Obviously the RS will agree, but what about those in the relegation zone? It's clearly not in their interests to finish the season, particularly if they wouldn't go down if the season was halted permanently. This could get a bit nasty

Edit: sorry, only 14 out of 20 clubs need to agree to neutral grounds, so it may well get the go-ahead.

John Keating
52 Posted 06/05/2020 at 16:54:00
To be honest looking at the table from 40 points down that includes a lot of clubs - including US!
Steve Pugh
53 Posted 06/05/2020 at 17:17:48
I wonder what would happen if everyone rang up and cancelled their SkySports and/or BT subscriptions stating a disagreement with the restart of all sports in the UK as the reason?
Michael Lynch
54 Posted 06/05/2020 at 17:20:52
Still over 6,000 new infections per day; Germany is down to less than 1,000 per day. Assuming the lockdown was the right policy, then I'm not entirely sure what evidence the government would have to start loosening it next week?
Ed Prytherch
55 Posted 06/05/2020 at 17:32:40

Total deaths is a poor way of comparing the performance of different countries to Covid-19. The US has the most deaths and it has a population about 5 times the size of the major European countries.

In terms of deaths per positively identified case, the US ranks much better. Like Germany, the health system is more robust and hospital bed occupancy has never come close to 100%.

Here in South Carolina, we have had no lockdown and, from a population of 3 million, we have had 300 deaths. The number of new cases yesterday was less than 100.

Most people out shopping voluntarily wear masks. Young people are more cavalier in their behaviour but they are at less risk than the older population. We old folks avoid close interaction and wear masks and spend as much time as possible outdoors. It works for us.

Tony Abrahams
56 Posted 06/05/2020 at 21:32:01
It would just be this government being consistent IMO, Michael @54.

Si Cooper
57 Posted 06/05/2020 at 23:12:59
Ed, that all means very little until you know exactly how many have actually been infected, and conversely how many remain to catch it. It matters whether your 300 deaths result from 30,000 cases or 3,000.

Look at the German situation. They are held up to be a model because of their testing, tracing and targeted quarantining which has certainly allowed them to better control its spread. So, if we take that confirmed infected figure (including many youngsters and asymptomatic infected) as accurate, then we have a total of 160,000 out of a total population of 82 million. That leaves 81.84 million people still with the potential of catching it. 6000 deaths from 160,000 is 3.75 percent. 3.75 percent of 81.84 million is 3.069 million. The Germans and the South Koreans have done a great job at containment but it still boils down to simple deferment without an effective vaccine.

The above figures do rely on no-one having natural immunity but that was the initial information and I still haven't heard anyone state otherwise.

The problem is lockdown was only ever going to be relatively short-term because the modern global economies can't tolerate it. The gamble is whether an effective vaccine or some other treatment turns up much quicker than the likely 12-18 months for adequate supplies.

Another factor is whether the recovered have now got a decent immunity. It's interesting that Neil Ferguson seems to have assumed he would have. He may have seen research that hasn't been confirmed / published yet or he could just be another highly educated ‘idiot' lacking basic common sense.

The spoilt child in the White House wants to be declared as the vanquisher of the virus already and there seems to be a growing and widespread sense that we are well past the worst, which just isn't true. Potentially we have only just got started.

Michael Lynch
58 Posted 06/05/2020 at 23:38:39
Just wondering... if the 20-21 season started behind closed doors, surely it would have to be completed behind closed doors? Otherwise there would be an unfair advantage to a club which, for example, had played an away game at Anfield when there were no badge-wearing, flag-waving tossers singing YAWN, over a club who later in the season was forced to play in front of a full house of the dickheads?

And similarly, if they started with neutral grounds, they'd have to continue with neutral grounds.

Derek Thomas
59 Posted 07/05/2020 at 01:19:29
Steve @ 54; I've had dealings a few years ago with Sky re complaints and I was told by an ITK that, for every 1 person that gets in direct contact – actually speaks to a human voice – they reckon that 20 feel the same but can't be arsed to do anything.

"What have you got to lose?" he said. So me and 5 others phoned them up and bent their ear... lo an behold, it got changed. Coincidence? Who knows.

Jack Convery
60 Posted 07/05/2020 at 02:47:26
An excellent pointer to the death rate is now being used by scientists – it's called the Excess Death Rate

“5.8% of the whole residential care home population in England & Wales have died in the last month. We would normally expect that to be at 2.3%” – @lewis_goodall Newsnight Tuesday 5th May 2020.

That's a whopping 280% higher than what should be expected. There's no way at the moment the fat lady is getting ready to sing.
Cancel the season – Save Lives and FFS Save the NHS!!

Football is not that important... maybe we all realise that now.

Anthony Dove
62 Posted 07/05/2020 at 09:42:04
Why would you void the season when three-quarters of the games have been played? Either get the pools panel to predict the results of the remaining games or have a variation of the Duckworth-Lewis method used in cricket.

Would the clubs agree to this? About as likely as ‘You'll Never Walk Alone' being played at my funeral.

Patrick McFarlane
63 Posted 07/05/2020 at 10:14:27
Anthony #62 Voiding the season will never happen and at some point, they will, if necessary, produce some artificial way of ending 2019-20. Perhaps, they could average out the last 10 meetings for each remaining fixture at the home ground and allocate the points that way? I'm not sure how Everton would fare in this scenario, but at least it would provide a football-related solution.

Meanwhile, the current occupants of the bottom three are being threatened with relegation, if they fail to back plans to play out the season at neutral grounds – this comes despite the fact that it is the clubs just outside the bottom three who are making the most noise against the idea.

Looking forward to when 'normality' returns, the usual suspects will have a precedent to follow when they decide that a derby match or high profile fixture should be played on foreign soil and we the match-going fans can watch it on our TV.

The board at Everton FC may have to reconsider and even shelve their plans to build a brand new stadium, it may not be able to host the bigger matches a few years down the line, due to their high profile opponents wanting to play in front of the legions of supporters on the other side of the world.

Derek Taylor
64 Posted 07/05/2020 at 10:35:26
Steve Pugh @ 52. Yesterday I rang Sky to cancel my Sports contract using your precise words re disagreement of policy to re-start football coverage. I have to say that I was treated with the utmost respect and assured my bill would be immediately adjusted accordingly.

An hour later, I checked my 'future billing' window to find the change had already been applied. This morning an email arrived confirming this and thanking me for my custom. Most impressive!

Eddie Dunn
65 Posted 07/05/2020 at 11:45:29
Obviously there is political interference in the issue of resuming the season (in whatever format). The government want to bring some feelgood factor to the populace. Essentially, the powers that be would like to bring the economy straight back on stream just as long as they don't get blamed for unnecessary deaths.

Football (they think) will cheer-up the masses, and provide a usefull distraction, lifting morale of workers and those considered more vunerable, stuck at home.

Behind the scenes, the moneymen are anxiously pushing their stooges in office to get the ball rolling again. Few of them really give a toss about poor, old, working-class people snuffing it. The rich are healthier, live in healthier housing, and eat better food. Daft ones like Boris catch it because they thought they were too important to heed the adivce... just like the chap who has just resigned from Sage.

Back to football, and the desperate attempts to get the season restarted. It is simply not safe yet. I am one of the minority on here who think the season should continue when the time is right. However, for twits like Gordon Taylor to suggest neutral venues, shortened games, 5 subs etc is ridiculous.

The season can only be completed using the same rules as before. Games need to be 90 mins and venues need to be the ones used before. Otherwise, the season is undermined and should be considered an absurdity.

I find myself having less interest as I hear bored players on TalkSport and see them playing Fifa on Playstation. I don't care if we have to wait a year. It really doesn't matter.

Mike Cheshire
66 Posted 07/05/2020 at 11:54:36
The ECDC (European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control) lists the number of deaths per 100 000 population which gives a much more accurate picture. As of yesterday, the UK had a death rate from Covid-19 of 45.2 people per 100,000. Germany's death rate by comparison is 8.6 per 100,000.

The UK figure is still lower than Spain (55.3) and Italy (49.1) but their populations are lower than the UK.

The low death rate in Germany and the success of their policy regarding the virus (helps when your leader is an extremely intelligent scientist) is why they feel comfortable restarting the season behind closed doors. The UK's response was way too late to be effective.

Ed #55 alluded to the USA and relatively low numbers of deaths and likened it to Germany. USA population = 331M; deaths from Covid-19 as of 6 May 2020: 73,431 which, by my reckoning gives a rate of 22.18 per 100,000. So nearly 3 times the death rate of Germany.

Anyway, back to footy. I don't care who wins the league unless it is Everton. What I would say is that finishing the season behind closed doors at neutral venues would negatively affect different teams disproportionately. When your team is flying, à la the RS, you'll probably win regardless as you don't need your baying home support to lift your confidence. If you're fighting for survival, that lift could be all that stands between your team and the abyss.

If the season can't be finished under the same rules and circumstances under which it started, then it should be binned. By all means grant Liverpool the title, everyone will always know they didn't really win it and that that title will forever have an * next to it in the history books.

I'd heard today that there were suggestions for the restart including that players wouldn't be allowed to spit. Spittoons at the side of the pitch – just like a old west saloon – anyone? Ludicrous.

Tony Everan
67 Posted 07/05/2020 at 12:25:33
They will be watching Germany carefully. If their league gets called off due to an infected team our season could be cancelled and voided but more likely delayed until July or August and be used as a weird pre-season. The desire for the 𧿘M outstanding TV money will trump all.

Quite apart from that, if they do go ahead the UK, it is in such a poor state compared to Germany it is in a very precarious situation. One infection from one player causing the whole of his squad to isolate for 2 weeks will blow the whole plan apart.

Liam McAdam
68 Posted 07/05/2020 at 12:33:57
The whole novelty has passed now... Wait until next season, hope we're safe to come back. Null and void makes most sense, ask the tele companies and sponsors to use some discretion, come to some agreement over the money.
I'd be in favour of carrying the points over to next season. That's the most fair outcome without upsetting to many people (see France, Holland).

If they give Liverpool the title, what's the odds on hundreds of bellends having a party outside?? It'll be a minority I know, but they don't have a good history for sticking to the rules do they, tbh we'd be lying if a few of us didn't if we were in their position, some of our knobhead supporters would be there. Regardless of the circumstances, they'll be declared champions. Pubs won't be open, off licenses are. Imagine the singing, smoke bombs and bevvying outside anfield. So if that's gunna be the case then give them it, but not all the prize money, but if there supporters decide to ruin it by gathering and celebrating anywhere, take it off them and punish the club.

Promote the top 2 from the championship, league 1, and league 2. And do the same in the lower leagues. Don't know what they'll do about the teams in the play off positions. It's unfair to relegate anyone with so many games left to play.

22 teams in the prem, 5 relegated, 3 promoted, and likely to see between 6-8 teams on over 100 points at the end of the 2021 season if carried over, is going to be exciting to look at. It'll give us 4 more games a season to look forward too aswell, which is at least some consolation for what we've missed this season. I'd go with a 2019-2021 season.
The prem is our priority so leave uefa to do whatever they want to do.

Up the fucking toffees

Kim Vivian
69 Posted 07/05/2020 at 13:40:24
Slightly off topic - but now that the Bundesliga is going to try and set the precedent - for better or worse - and we have no Everton games to follow - who are we going to support over there?

Has to to be the Royal Blues surely, FC Schalke, with jjk to boot.


Billy Roberts
70 Posted 07/05/2020 at 13:56:54
Kim @69
It's far more "on topic" than some stuff you come across on Toffeweb nowadays!!
It's all good stuff, yes good shout, it's funny that if given a choice to support any team in any country I would always go for the one wearing a Dark or Royal Blue.
So I'm with you on Shalke, I think if, and it's a big If the Bundesliga does get underway there will be many interested parties following its fortunes.
I would watch 1 Shalke match out of curiosity and of course support to the boys in Blue!
Eric Myles
71 Posted 07/05/2020 at 15:00:40
Kim #69, can't say I know much about German footy but as I like Berlin maybe I'd follow Hertha? Or having also been to Munich, then Bayern?

No clue as to what colours either of them wears though.

Kim Vivian
72 Posted 07/05/2020 at 15:20:56
This might help, Eric!

Peter Knight
73 Posted 07/05/2020 at 17:20:59
The season should be cancelled like in 1939. If resumed now it is not the same situation as when the season stopped. Players injured at the time are fit, teams in form and out of form may be different now after 10 week lay off.
Craig Walker
74 Posted 07/05/2020 at 19:05:45
Cancel it.

Neutral grounds or behind-closed-door games means the home team loses an advantage. We went to Anfield and got hammered. History would say we wouldn't beat them at Goodison but we often draw. If Goodison is a bear pit then it's like a 12th man. Why should we want to lose that in a derby and make it advantageous to them to get one of the wins they need?

Their hypocrisy over the men's and women's leagues speaks volumes.

Joe McMahon
75 Posted 07/05/2020 at 19:11:12
Craig, we won't draw this time. Christ 2010 last time we even beat them at pit Goodison.
Danny Baily
76 Posted 07/05/2020 at 19:36:27
One interesting idea I read about today is an opt-out for individual players. It came from Chris Wilder.

If clubs are forced to resume the season, then players who object should be able to opt out. There may be a few lads in at-risk groups or with relatives who are.

Andy Crooks
77 Posted 07/05/2020 at 20:34:58
I expect that the very restrained easing of lockdown to be announced on Sunday will end the season, at the same time taking responsibility away from the Premier League.
Tony Abrahams
78 Posted 07/05/2020 at 20:58:50
I would have said Schalke until today, but then I got a lovely WhatsApp about Union Berlin, Kim.

In 2004, the club was facing bankruptcy, and couldn't afford the €1.5m, required to participate in the 2004-05 season. In Germany, people receive money for giving blood, so Union Berlin fans donated their blood in massive numbers, and gave all of the money to “their club”

The club paid the German FA and, 15 years later, they are 8th in the Bundesliga, all because the fans gave blood for the club. Brilliant story – even if it looks like they play in red!

Jim Wilson
79 Posted 07/05/2020 at 22:53:25
The common sense and only approach is cancel. It is not safe to try and restart and all the ideas put forward are just plain stupid and desperate.

There are going to be problems with the 2020-21 season starting so the FA should be concentrating on getting that one right.

Everton should have nothing to do with a 2019-20 restart on the simple grounds that it is not safe.

Jim Bennings
80 Posted 08/05/2020 at 08:19:27
I totally agree with everyone who says the priority for the FA now should be getting the 2020-21 season started as close to the normal August opening as possible.

The ridiculous behaviour and stupid suggestions I have heard with regards to bringing back this season in June or July are just pure gobbledegook.

Not one fan will give a monkey's arse cheek about dead rubber games in July with no fans at games and all kinds of restrictions involved on the pitch. Christ, are they really the desperate to get the Shite an illegitimate title?

The whole mentality of people in this country seriously needs questioning in my opinion though ever since this has started.

The UK is one of the worst affected nations yet people have nearly been in tears because bloody McDonald's has shut and all I've had to deal with is sweaty-arsed joggers running inches past me or cyclists on the pavement going faster than Lance Armstrong despite repeated info on social distancing.

The desperado attempts to start the season back up with madcap rules just drives home the lack of leadership and organisation from the top.

You can't teach common sense.

Kim Vivian
81 Posted 08/05/2020 at 08:32:07
Lovely story, Tony... but, as you say, they play in red. So...
Alan McGuffog
82 Posted 08/05/2020 at 08:51:25
Jim, the priority of the FA should be to show some moral leadership and move towards starting football again when and if it is safe for players and supporters. And not be strong-armed into a resumption by the Premier League, the media giants, and the gambling industry in order to keep the gravy train on the rails.

Football began as a game. Surely it's time to put Mr Shankly's quote to bed, forever?

Eric Myles
83 Posted 08/05/2020 at 11:40:13
Kim #72, Hertha Berlin play in blue!!

Hertha Berlin

Michael Lynch
84 Posted 08/05/2020 at 14:44:09
It's looking less and less likely that there will be any significant relaxation of the lockdown rules on Sunday, so I can't see any way that a date can be set on the Premier League resuming in the near future.

I would guess that the government won't want to lace the disappointment of a continuing lockdown with anything that would look like it was making an exception for the Premier League and its wealthy clubs, especially while the likes of Kyle Walker are getting such bad press. Not sure it would go down too well. So it will be interesting to see what stance the football world does take next week. Guessing again, but perhaps another holding statement?

John Keating
85 Posted 08/05/2020 at 14:53:29
Now it's 5 substitutes and getting rid of VAR. I must admit if VAR was permanently ditched I'd be made up.

If we don't need it for the remainder of the season, why did we need it at all???

The whole thing is an absolute joke and I am amazed why we as a Club are not saying that.

Michael Kenrick
86 Posted 08/05/2020 at 15:19:31
This whole thing is getting beyond ridiculous.
Tony Abrahams
87 Posted 08/05/2020 at 15:42:06
Alan @82, put Shankly's quote away and start using Jock Stein's, which has always made a lot more sense anyway.
Paul Birmingham
89 Posted 08/05/2020 at 15:46:31
Football's a great game but health and safety takes precedent in life and at work. Each person is responsible for their own health and safety.

Why the hell the desperados of the Premer League are trying to comprise health and safety and taking massive risks in such a pandemic impacting the UK worse than anywhere else in Europe is ridiculous.

The UK's situation can't be compared to Germany or Italy, and we are now seeing that this won't go away fast.

The Scottish and Welsh governments have, in my view, taken the right steps and won't compromise the health and safety of their people.

I hope the FA, the government have the guts to do the right thing, be firm and show moral fibre and a duty of care and call this season nil and void.

Seeing one of the scientists on the daily review yesterday and again depending on how you translate their feedback suggests to me that this virus is firmly rooted and won't go away soon, so why help the virus spread?

Scores of people dying by the hour, scores who are very poorly, the country is on the ropes, so the priority is to stay safe and well.

Let's see what the government indicate over this weekend, or next Monday.

Michael Lynch
90 Posted 08/05/2020 at 15:48:14
5 subs, no VAR, and you're allowed two cheese toastie breaks per game and one joker card that you can play when an opponent is in on a one-on-one, allowing your goalie to throw one of the cheese toasties at the striker. It's football, but not as we know it.

I mean, what the fuck do I know, but if we have to change the rules, why not play a one-off tournament over the next few months behind closed doors? New rules, new trophy.

I'd be more likely to watch that than a load of meaningless games to finish a dull Premier League season. At least there'd be something to play for – rather than just watching the Shite win the league in week one and then just dull friendlies in empty stadiums.

Paul Tran
91 Posted 08/05/2020 at 15:50:27
The government is desperate for a distraction, the Premier League wants it's loot, the sports press wants to stay relevant, everyone else knows this is all nonsense and is waiting for someone in authority to cancel it.

This is all about avoiding or minimising litigation.

Michael Lynch
92 Posted 08/05/2020 at 15:58:54
Tony @87 sadly, Jock Stein's quote was from another era, before Sky invented the modern game. The fans are mostly watching in their armchairs, or at the pub these days. I reckon the Premier League see the match-going fans as just a part of the entertainment – great if you can get them, but if not then the show will go on regardless. The dosh comes through the Sky subscriptions rather than through the turnstiles.
Tony Abrahams
93 Posted 08/05/2020 at 16:09:22
I've been aware of this for years, Michael, but if the game does go ahead behind closed doors, then hopefully this will change.

I've argued for years that us fans could easily do something about it if we all got together – look what happened at Anfield when the yanks put the prices up too much!

Maybe we will be appreciated a lot more in the future because what Jock Stein said was so true. But so it seems was Shankly's saying, especially if football resumes, and there are still only 10 people allowed to attend a funeral.

Gerry Quinn
94 Posted 08/05/2020 at 16:15:04
Everton calls across the Atlantic... what a lovely club we are...

Michael Lynch
95 Posted 09/05/2020 at 08:52:48
Well it's a firm No from Watford's chief exec, in a strong piece in the Times (might be behind a paywall):

Distorted nine-game mini-league bound to have devastating effects

As he says, it's all about self-interest for the clubs outside the relegation zone, but a different matter for those that might face the drop.

Mind you, his comments about the RS behaving appropriately is nonsense. Bearing in mind the scenes in the Echo from parks around the city yesterday, he's living in a fantasy world.

Paul Tran
96 Posted 09/05/2020 at 09:13:48
Michael #96, if you register with The Times (it's free), they give you two free articles a week.
Alan McGuffog
97 Posted 09/05/2020 at 09:23:06
Tony... you have the advantage on me. I don't know the Jock Stein quote... please enlighten me.
Steve Pugh
98 Posted 09/05/2020 at 09:26:28
Derek #64, thanks for that, interesting.
Steve Brown
99 Posted 09/05/2020 at 09:35:41
Let's just get the captains of each team to play virtual games of "rock, paper, scissors' to decide the outcome of remaining games. It will wrap up the season in a couple of hours and be no less farcical than what is being proposed. It might actually be more entertaining as well.
Paul Tran
100 Posted 09/05/2020 at 09:43:45
It might come to that, Steve. I just about remember the days when drawn European ties were decided by the toss of a coin!
Ray Robinson
101 Posted 09/05/2020 at 10:16:52
Paul, as far as I know, that only happened once. Liverpool beat Cologne on the toss of a coin in 1965 in Rotterdam after three drawn games. Away goals rule probably not thought of by then and no penalties to decide the outcome. And only 4 wins required to lift the European Cup.

Liverpool's luck has never run out since then has it?

Alan McGuffog
102 Posted 09/05/2020 at 10:40:49
And if my memory serves, the first spin resulted in the coin being stuck on edge in the mud. Thankfully Inter Milan stitched them up just as they had done to us the season before.
Andy Crooks
103 Posted 09/05/2020 at 10:46:14
Ray, it actually happened to Bernard Briggs (the no goal goalie). At the World for England he didn't concede a goal right to the final. He kept a clean sheet in extra time and, to the horror of all of us, England lost on the toss of a coin.

I'm not sure who the opponents were but suspect they were dodgy South Americans. A few had pencil-thin moustaches and were guilty of some dirty tricks.

Paul Tran
104 Posted 09/05/2020 at 10:49:16
Ray #101, I know Celtic won on the toss of a coin on their way to the European Cup final in 1970. Think it was against Benfica. I'm pretty sure there were others.
Ray Robinson
105 Posted 09/05/2020 at 12:24:55
Paul, I live and learn. Never knew that!
Patrick McFarlane
106 Posted 09/05/2020 at 12:46:42
As the Guardian article states there have been some lucky tossers in the history of football

The most important coin-toss in the history of football came in the semi-finals of the tedious 1968 European Championships, Paul. Having drawn 0-0 with the Soviet Union, Italy (led by Internazionale defensive legend and crowd-pleaser extraordinaire Giacinto Facchetti) progressed to the final after winning a thrilling coin-toss.

Meanwhile Yugoslavia were dispatching England 1-0, thus ensuring they could be robbed in the final by the Italians. Trailing 1-0 with ten minutes left, Angelo Domenghini was allowed to take a free-kick with the Yugoslavs in the process of retreating the full 10 yards. Goal, and a 1-1 draw. Italy won the replay 2-0; not exciting.

The next biggest match decided by the flicking of a coin took place in the 1964-5 European Cup quarter-finals, after Liverpool and Cologne played out two dour 0-0 draws and then a 2-2 after a play-off in Amsterdam. Ron Yeats guessed right in the centre circle, as befitting a man who won more 50-50s than most. You'll Never Walk Cologne? Liverpool were then controversially dispatched 4-3 on aggregate in the semi-finals by Inter, led by that man Facchetti again.

But no hard-luck story is complete without Spain: they missed out on a place in the 1954 World Cup finals after beating Turkey in a two-legged qualifier 4-2 on aggregate. Sadly, aggregate scores counted for nothing in those days, and having won and lost a leg apiece, the teams played off. After the inevitable draw (2-2), it was down to a blind Italian boy to draw lots; even he could see what was going to happen next.

Celtic did indeed beat Benfica in 1969/70 European Cup, due to a toss of a coin, Benfica doing an Everton as they retrieved 3 goal deficit in their own stadium and still managed to lose.

“Football is for the fans. It can be the greatest game in the world but if there are no people to watch it, it becomes nothing. The fans are the lifeblood of the game.”
-- Jock Stein

Eric Myles
107 Posted 09/05/2020 at 15:16:08
John #85, I'd they get rid of VAR, then there goes their claims to "integrity". You can't have that many games played under one set of rules, and then change those rules.

Not unless they plan to overturn every VAR decision that has been made, and then the RS would have no chance of winning the Premier League.

John Keating
108 Posted 09/05/2020 at 16:13:54

The only way the season can be played with “integrity” is if it completes in exactly the same manner as it started in game one. Any change from game one changes everything and “integrity” goes out the window.

It is going to be very interesting to see what happens when the idiots leading our game finally make the right decision. If what is happening in Scotland is anything to go by, we are in for a lot of entertainment – far better than any actual footy!!

Craig Harrison
109 Posted 09/05/2020 at 16:14:56
If they scrap VAR now, how many penalties will we get turned down for in the derby that would have been overturned by VAR?

My money's on 3.

Billy Roberts
110 Posted 09/05/2020 at 19:45:45
Good interview and quote from Watford Chairman on the BBC Sport website. The Watford chairman Scott Duxbury doesn't mince his words when he says he's totally opposed to the neutral venue idea.

This is more like it, a Chairman of a club starting to make some definite sounds. I think Andy Crooks said it correct in that it feels like the Premier League, PFA and Club Chairman really just want someone else to pull the trigger on this season.

Will tomorrows announcement by Government finally kill off the idea of resurrecting this season? It will be interesting, whatever is said tomorrow and how it influences Monday's "Project Restart" meeting. The clock, meanwhile, keeps ticking away.

Dennis Stevens
111 Posted 09/05/2020 at 20:51:19
BBC headline of some relevance: Dynamo Dresden's entire squad in isolation just a week before restart.

Doesn't bode well for a restart in England any time soon, imo.

Tony Abrahams
112 Posted 09/05/2020 at 21:03:25
Just saw this now, Alan, and was about to reply, but Patrick has saved me a job. Thanks, Patrick, you have been very good on ToffeeWeb lately imo mate!

Dave Abrahams
113 Posted 09/05/2020 at 21:20:50
Ray (105), I think Liverpool lost on the toss of a coin at Anfield in the Uefa Cup to a Spanish team. I was at the game, think they had just signed Alun Evans from Wolves.
Eugene Markey
114 Posted 09/05/2020 at 22:28:11
Michael @92,

There will be no-one watching games in pubs for a while and if the Premier League go ahead with anything other than the same rules that started the season, it will be just a farce.

We have to make a stand and pull the plug on our Sky subscriptions and then Jock Stein's quote will ring true and show up Shankly's for the tripe his was. It's time to start bringing back football to the supporters.

Eric Myles
116 Posted 10/05/2020 at 08:08:14
I'm lucky in that I have no yearly contract against which to pay my monthly subscription, I just pay a monthly fee and if I don't pay, no problem.

Those who wish to cancel their Sky subscriptions before the term of the contract is up should read the contracts carefully.

Tony Williams
117 Posted 10/05/2020 at 15:08:14
As I have posted before, the leagues should be declared null & void. People have lost loved ones and no-one knows how a return is going to affect things. In a situation as the country is in, and as I say, lives are being lost I cannot comprehend the Premier League even contemplating restarting. Obviously money is more important.

Eugene Markey
118 Posted 10/05/2020 at 22:18:58
Your sky sports contract has to be nul and void because you will not be getting what you signed up for. No one will want to watch games being played in neutral grounds and no supporters to create an atmosphere,a totally different game altogether.Sky should know that it's customers will not be duped into parting with their hard earned cash

Andy Crooks
119 Posted 10/05/2020 at 22:34:37
I fear for the bottom three tomorrow.
John Boon
120 Posted 10/05/2020 at 23:26:52
I don't think it makes any sense to contemplate finishing the season. Any such attempt would be unjust and the playing field could never be considered even. Each team will have been differently affected by Covid 19. Uncertainty will remain until at least August and we will be grateful and lucky to be be able to start 2020-2021, never mind finishing the last one.

We need to maintain a focus on the health and safety of players and fans. Remember we only have players because of fans. Attendance was the sole factor in the finances of individual Clubs prior to the English League becoming an International League of the rich and famous.

It is only Television and wealthy Tycoons from abroad who made themselves and players rich beyond their dreams. Eventually the old English First Division has become the "All World Premier League". A local player is one who happens to be born in Great Britain, or in the case of Liverpool, Norway. A local manager is usually deemed unworthy of managing a Premier league team. they just don't have it.Money, money and more money is the cry. Hardl y ANY of the fans of the day will have will have the experience of getting to watch the game from the "Boys Pen." That would mean letting kids in cheap and why do that when we can make suckers of parents pay far far more.

The season does not HAVE to be finished just so some guy from Nevernever land can make sure that he will be able to make his millions from an otherwise dead season. I have similar feelings to John M (25). after a two or three month break it impossible for me to have any enthusiasm for last season.

I am also an eighty year true blue Evertonian. The money aspect in today's football has always had a negative affect on my thinking. However I still look forward to NEXT season. I can put aside the fact that there are too many millionaires,and the fact that today's ten year olds can only go to a game with their Dads or even their Mums. I had great parents but it was really much better for me to go to a match with my snotty nosed mates. I even went to away games before I was ten. Again I went with me mates, but only after I had saved up for a month or so. Once, when I was twelve I went by myself, on my bike to Manchester City. I got lost on the way home but a kind policeman helped me. Not only did I not need my parents to be with me, they didn't even know where I had gone. in fact they didn't even miss me.

David Pearl
121 Posted 10/05/2020 at 23:37:15
This season should have been void weeks ago and all eyes should be on next year. If it wasn't either the redshite or Man U at the top it would have been done already.

And as John says the sole focus should be on the health and welfare of the people, and the animals of course. I've noticed a few more cooking shows on tv lately all about meat, they ain't fooling me!

Eric Myles
122 Posted 11/05/2020 at 02:54:45
Eugene #118, your Sky contract won't be null and void if it has a Force Majeure clause in it, and it likely will have, or 'weasel words' to the effect "reasons beyond our control".
Eugene Markey
123 Posted 11/05/2020 at 08:03:01

I cancelled mine because I wasn't getting what I paid for. Granted they tried to insist that I couldn't. As you say, they tried to weasel words to the effect it had nothing to do with them.

I told them because I was out of work had nothing to do with me, so I haven't the money to be paying for a service I wasn't getting. It took a while to get off the phone but they ended up cancelling it. You just have to persist and insist.

I know you hadn't this problem and you are better off staying with the system you use. What is it you use? I wouldn't mind using it myself.

Tony Abrahams
124 Posted 11/05/2020 at 08:54:00
Something tells me you're not a big Elvis fan, Chris W, but Suspicious Minds always makes me smile for some unknown reason. Probably because it's built-in!
Steve Carse
125 Posted 11/05/2020 at 09:09:48
John (120), I had to laugh at those last few sentences. Not sure whether youngsters biking it all the way to Manchester was too commonplace in the 50s but the justifiably 'relaxed' attitude of parents towards the whereabouts of their kids certainly was.
Chris Williams
126 Posted 11/05/2020 at 09:38:32

Yup suspicious minds is appropriate!

Actually I really liked some of his mid period stuff before he went in the army. Mess of Blues and His Latest Flame. Great stuff.

Tony Abrahams
127 Posted 11/05/2020 at 09:47:28
Did you see the headline yesterday from the Liverpool Echo, Chris?

Liverpool fans robbed of biggest party in 30 years.

I think this region has suffered around 1,000 deaths but it's the supporters who have been robbed because they can't party.

Dave Abrahams
128 Posted 11/05/2020 at 09:51:23
John (120) and Steve (124), I've got to agree with the relaxed attitude of parents in the 1950's, they trusted you to have common sense, not sure we always had it!!

Me and my mate went to the 1953 semi final at Maine Road, I was twelve my mate was ten, apart from the result what a day we had,I was in charge and we had tickets for different ends of the ground, when we got there I told him to get to a certain place, at the end of the game, and stay there ‘til I came for him and asked him if he understood, he rolled his eyes at me which meant “ Do one, I'm not a divvy”

At the end of the game there he was collecting the little FA cups off the discarded rosettes, come on I said “ Let's go and get some chips I'm starving” “ Hang on “ he said “ I've still got a custard slice in me pocket” “ A fuckin' custard slice, you've just been in a crowd of over 75,000 get it and let's see what it's like” It was in a Blackledge's bag splattered all over the place but we didn't half enjoy it, even the bag, ripped it in half and licked it dry, before we found a chippie and had our dinner AFTER that lovely puddin'. Happy days indeed, we were always skint but very rich in spirit.

Chris Williams
129 Posted 11/05/2020 at 09:52:51

I avoid that rag like Covid-19!

They're asking for support now, the Echo I mean, not Liverpool. Maybe they're skint?

Alienating a big proportion of potential customers isn't a great marketing ploy.

Maybe they've been taking advice from Gerald Ratner.

Rob Halligan
130 Posted 11/05/2020 at 10:04:24
Johns story # 120, reminds me of the time Everton played Plymouth away in the FA Cup in 1975. As a fifteen year old school kid, I told my mum and dad I was staying at a friend's house for the weekend. We travelled down to Plymouth on the Friday night on a double decker bus would you believe, arriving in Plymouth around 10am (i think!!).

After the game the bus headed straight back to liverpool, arriving back around five in the morning. We went back to my friends house for some kip before I went home in the afternoon. My mum and dad had found out where I had gone and were not all that pleased, but thankfully I escaped any major punishment. Thinking back, I can't remember how I managed to afford the trip, but I had enough to pay for the bus, match entrance and food and drink.

Eric Myles
131 Posted 11/05/2020 at 10:08:49
Eugene #123, good on you for sticking to your guns! I hope they offer you a hefty discount to re-join once normal service had been resumed.

I'm in Thailand mate, so my service provider won't be available to you. There's some internet services like iptv that mates use that they swear by, or an Android box.

Tony Abrahams
132 Posted 11/05/2020 at 11:50:15
At least Ratner was honest, Chris, but it's funny that since a few mentioned it on here, the echo have started going alphabetically, and occasionally Everton have even been getting mentioned first!

I wonder what today's meeting will bring about? I've heard that Sky and BT have both posted massive profits on the back of the Premier League this season but maybe that's because they haven't paid out any prize money yet?

Chris Williams
133 Posted 11/05/2020 at 12:07:38

I suspect little will change, because there's too many conflicting requirements. Apparently they need a 2/3 majority to pass a vote, so 14 clubs? It sounds to me that they're now looking at a totally different competition if they restart.

PL would probably say that they're no different from any other industry, and they're allowed to go back. But don't mention them and integrity in the same breath.

There's also so much uncertainty aggravated by soft arse last night, whatever it was he said.

If they've posted results, it possibly accounted for any future payments?

Tony Abrahams
134 Posted 11/05/2020 at 12:38:10
I've heard loads of people slaughtering the prime minister, Chris, but I was in the other room listening, because I was eating my dinner and also because I don't like looking at the man, when he speaks his usual shite.

I thought he spoke better than I've ever heard him, from the other room, which just goes to show you what I know, considering the stick he's been getting ever since?

I'd argue that it just shows me, that I've been on this absolute clown from day one, if I thought he spoke better last night, and I've been seeing for ever what others are starting to see now!

One journalist in the guardian, puts it better than most, his suit and even his hair was neat, but everything else was all over the place, so a 50% improvement for a man I just can't take seriously, especially whilst he's in the highest position in the land, and we are in a crisis.

Eugene Markey
135 Posted 11/05/2020 at 12:43:30

Thanks for that. I had the Android box for a while it didn't always work and seemed to go idle on me when the footy started.

Stay safe.

Mike Hughes
136 Posted 11/05/2020 at 13:28:10
Tony #126

The Liverpool Echo is almost as embarrassing as the RS fans. I haven't bought it for myself this millennium. Poor quality bog roll.

I remember in the 1990s they had a music review. There was a write-up about the band, “You Too”. Seriously.

I imagine it has only got worse since, sucking-up to what their headline once described as “the worst fans in Europe” - (after the RS fans had made a show of themselves once again).

Null and void newspaper for a null and void season.

Tom Bowers
137 Posted 11/05/2020 at 13:49:39
We tend to lambaste our World leaders and others who are leaders in other areas especially when they slip up. However, BoJo really hasn't had much of a chance to do much wrong with the Brexit affair still fresh and his own Covid-19 problems, but sadly Donald Trump has no excuse whatsoever as he, almost every day puts his foot in his mouth with ridiculous comments.

He is such an embarrassment to the US people with his fake tan to boot.

Eric Myles
138 Posted 11/05/2020 at 14:10:11
Mike #136 The worst fans in Europe

The chairman of the Hillsborough Disaster Families (Phil something?) who was at the game in Athens said he would never go to an away European game again, he was so disgusted at their behaviour.

Of course, RS fans deny it all. No shame.

Eric Myles
139 Posted 11/05/2020 at 14:14:02
Tom #137, I don't feel that we can be lambasting the majority of world leaders for their action in these times.

Worse still, some are lambasting current leaders for the failings of previous regimes.

The problem is, they are not experts on such things, and rely on their advisors to be experts.

Unfortunately everyone is just playing a gigantic guessing game, especially the so called experts, who should know better.

Michael Lynch
140 Posted 11/05/2020 at 14:16:40
Meanwhile... advice is now to wear face coverings on public transport etc, so it's time to cut up your old Everton tops and strap them across your gobs.
Eric Myles
141 Posted 11/05/2020 at 14:22:12
Michael #140, that has been compulsory here in Thailand for a month now. Although yesterday my sister in England told me the UK advice is it is only 1% effective?
Michael Lynch
142 Posted 11/05/2020 at 15:27:05
Eric, an Everton mask gives you at least 72% protection. On the other hand, a RS mask offers no protection and makes you look a twat.

That's based on proven science by the way.

Bill Gall
143 Posted 11/05/2020 at 15:29:04
What are they going to do... talking about players wearing masks, no celebrating when you score, what's next? A new ball when the keeper catches the ball with his hands, new ball after a throw-in.

Football is an entertainment sport and you need people to be entertained at the ground, not watching on a phone or other devices.

Everyone is loosing money, from people who have become unemployed because of the pandemic to small business owners that may not be able to start up again after it is over, so to pamper to the money hungry media and TV moguls is wrong.

Start back up in August, cancel cup games and play 2 games a week, end of season continue the next season with 2 games a week no cup games either domestically or European and no internationals.

Get some backbone and don't give in to the Media Giants that have been making millions from the premier league, and try every year to start up various competitions just to increase their revenue.

Remember these large media companies are in it for profit, not to be nice to the supporters.

Add Your Comments

In order to post a comment, you need to be logged in as a registered user of the site.

» Log in now

Or Sign up as a ToffeeWeb Member — it's free, takes just a few minutes and will allow you to post your comments on articles and Talking Points submissions across the site.

About these ads